Now that you have a sound strategy (read previous blog on Strategy), it’s time to implement a marketing plan that will deliver the results you need for your business’s success.
Manage your expectations.
We’ve all heard about the video that goes viral and generates thousands of responses, but marketing is not an overnight wonder or an immediate fix for a short-term goal. It often takes 6-12 months of consistent implementation to begin seeing revenue-generating results, or ROI. Marketing is playing the long game for sustaining and growing your business. Success takes time, but once it starts, it’s easier to maintain. You and your business team need to understand the strategy and have realistic expectations about timelines from the beginning.
Develop a team.
Your team may be orthodontic techs, golf course superintendents, or salespeople. Whatever role they play, your employees are important marketers, or ambassadors for your business. You want people who are skilled and value your customers the way you do. However, to take on strategic marketing tasks, you will need someone, or a team, with the skills to create compelling designs and content, negotiate media buys, manage your website and social media, and more. Realistically, it’s unusual to find one person with such a comprehensive skill set.
Many, if not most, small businesses outsource these functions to an agency that works in concert with the owner and leadership team. There are large agencies with large clients, agencies that specialize in particular industries or niche markets, agencies that focus on specific tools of marketing. Ligon Marketing has a full team of professionals with various backgrounds, insights, and skills; and we have a mix of clients, including health care providers and golf course services. When hiring an agency, make sure their approach and values match your work-style and expectations.
Share your strategy with the team.
Your team will be most successful if they know your goals up front. Your core internal team needs to fully understand and embrace your mission, vision, and values.
When you outsource your marketing efforts, your agency needs to understand your business strategy, as well. We work with clients as a partner in achieving success. At Ligon Marketing, not only do we enjoy the challenge of achieving your goals, we also like the sweet smell of success. When you look good, so do we.
Know your budget.
As they say, “You have to spend money to make money.” Analyze your costs of doing business and determine what investment you can make into your business’s future. Your marketing partner can make recommendations, but you need to know the mark you want to set.
Build a timeline and tactics.
It’s vital to set realistic timeframes for implementing a complete plan. Campaigns and websites are not build overnight, so be sure to communicate your goals and “must-have” deadlines. For example, if you plan to open a new practice location, you need a project plan of tasks (signage, patient letters, news release, website updates, collateral materials, etc.) to be completed to meet that deadline. Your agency partner should guide this process for you.
Track and celebrate success.
Marketing is an investment in your business future, and you’ll want to monitor your ROI. When you partner with Ligon Marketing, we will track results on our end and report those metrics to you. When we handle your digital presence, we monitor the activity in your digital space. It’s also important for you to track progress toward your goals and keep the agency informed. Did that direct mailer bring in new customers? Have you seen an increase in sales or appointments since an ad campaign started? How do those numbers compare to your overall business strategy? We will be relentless in asking!
Don’t forget to share successes with your core team. The company’s success, along with recognition of their role in it, can be highly motivational.
Tweak and move-on when necessary.
A big reason to monitor results is to obtain feedback on what’s working and what’s not. If an effort isn’t delivering results, you might try tweaking the concept and looking for improvement. Sometimes that’s a matter of a small change in a digital ad or a larger change in a landing page. If the tweaking doesn’t prove successful, then it’s time to develop new ideas to target your desired market. Flexibility and adaptability are vital in implementing a long-term strategy.
Implementing a successful marketing plan takes a combination of talent and diligence. At Ligon Marketing, we can bring energy and creativity to your marketing efforts, while you do what you do best.
Continue following the Ligon Marketing blog, when we address some specific marketing Tactics.